TB House
Architects: Z4Z4 AAA


A family is looking for a new home able to represent their trips around the globe, their desire to live in a garden and to embody the cinematic diversity of domestic life. The result is the design of two different houses on the same plot.
The Tobogan House is a generic three-storey house on a southern slope. The project juxtaposes two houses and a void that houses a car park, an entrance and two staircases, working as a thermal regulator and constructing a tracking shot between a garden, a folie and a picturesque grotto while crossing through the lounge, sauna-fitness center, bar, dining room and kitchen. One of the houses is organized to inhabit the soil with its habits and routines. The other was made light-heartedly, emancipated from the ground, in the air, is flying at a double height over the garden. Both are totally different each other in materiality, shape and weight. The most important spatial interest of the complex is the heterogeneous, ambiguous and membranous space that appears between the two houses. The scenic load of this space is achieved through the exposure of domestic life circulating between floors. The ground floor is contained between two long concrete walls. These walls cut into the soil to accommodate two ‘conventional and modern’ volumes, connected by a corridor surrounding the empty greenhouse-stage. In the South there is a garden for “the Good Life”, to the North lurks the “Grotesque Garden” — in the middle is the promising double height greenhouse. Over this green sequence along the plot, a smooth surface, based at ground level, lets Nature to cross over the slab and the car to pass through one side to the other over the dining-kitchen area. The upper floor is formed by wrapping three empty cylinders with corrugated iron, curtains, air and mirrors. Inside the cylinders inhabit the “super-interior”, offering total privacy to 9 rooms padded with wood, cotton, linen and silk, surrounded by “souvenirs”.


Project May 2007 – December 2013
Construction April 2014 – 04 December 2015

Architects: Z4Z4 AAA
Project: Rafael Beneytez Duran, with Z4Z4
Works direction: Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano, Ophelia Mantz
Project team: Rafael Beneytez,Víctor Cano, Ophelia Mantz,Borja Iglesias, Elena Oña.
Structure: Juan Carlos Arroyo, Ignacio García (Calter) + Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano (z4z4)
Modular system: Guillermo Martínez, Luis Martín (Eurobox) + Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano (z4z4)
Landscape: Martín Toimil (Land30)
Light design: Ilumisa + Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano (z4z4)
Facilities: Carolo Garrote (Proyecta!)
Photography+Film: ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero)
Bioclimatic project: Ophelia Mantz, Elena Oña.
Client: Private.
Contractor: Mario Navarro, Santiago Ibañez (Ars Tectónica)
Surveyor: Alfonso del Castillo
Area: 512 m2


Architects: z4z4, Victor Cano


4914, Yoakum Blvd, 77006, Houston, Texas, US

Calle de los Artistas 26, Bajo B, 28020, Madrid, Spain


Each Table shows the Work in Progress

Z4Z4 + Z4A is an architecture and design office located in Madrid, Spain, and Houston, Texas. Led by co-principals Rafael Beneytez-Duran and Ophelia Mantz, the office is committed to the idea that architecture is a system of thought. Z4A is where ideological, theoretical, and aesthetic matters are assembled. Z4Z4 is where all projects are being developed in technical and material form. From research to writing, from writing to design, from research to writing, and design to teaching. All works are framed over wide tables where assemblies and relationships are designed.
In the Fall of 2015, they traveled to the West Texas – Lubbock – as a base to explore the vast scale of the West and the sublime of the High Plains – landscapes and airscapes over the Ogallala Aquifer. In 2019 they moved to Houston to explore the forms of late capitalism.
Z4A is the author of Airscapes 1, Tobogan House TBH, Castilla y Leon Pavilion PCyL, Huesca Conference and Exhibitions Hall, Listening Tree, Listening Post, Cerro de las Martires Public Park, Uria Office building, Murua between other buildings and awarded competitions.
Their works have been published in magazines such as: DOMUS, MARK, ARQ, ACTAR, Tashen, Architectural Review, Architectural Record, AV magazine, HOUSES, ARQUINE, FUTURE, CENTER 23, PPA, AR20, Pasajes de Arquitectura, TEDx, Diseño Interior, Detail, Con-Arquitectura, BIEAU XI, ArchDaily, Europan, Experimenta, Diseñart, Dezeen, Arch20, Architizer, Bannana Design, Summa+, Archelo, Design Boom, Metalocus, Divisare, Catalogo Diseno, Afasia, Archilovers, Arkitera, Design.Mk, Archinovosti, Idea Msg, Dezain…
ACSA 2019 Faculty Design Award, Build 2019, S.ARCH Award 2018- Best Design Project. -AR Emerging Architecture 2016. Finalist. -Premio Nacional de Parques Públicos de España 2015 – Listening Tree, Spanish Biennial XI 2011. – Olympic City of Baghdad. First Prize. 2010 – Conference Hall of Huesca. First Prize 2005. – Castilla y León Pavilion. First Prize. 2008. – San Andrés Etxea Hotel. First Prize. 2005. – SEGO. First Prize. 2007. – Experimental Theater CMC en Getafe. 2007. – Centro de Gestión del Deporte en Leganés. 3rd Prize. 2009. – Europan 10. Taboadella. Awarded, 2010. – Hospedería de Turismo en Castuera. Awarded. 2009. – Hospedería de Turismo en Herrera de Duque. Awarded. 2010.

Rafael Beneytez Durán,
Founder of Z4A in 2010 and Director of Undergraduate Architecture as Associate Professor at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, University of Houston, Texas, where he teaches design Studios and Technology courses. Rafael B. Duran completed his BArch and MArch studies in architecture at the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid  (ETSAM-UPM) in 1998 and awarded PhD by ETSAM-UPM in 2016., awarded with recognition. He has worked with architect Rafael Moneo as projects director from 1999 to 2007.  He has taught at ETSAM, ESAyT, Architectural Association, and the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University,  as well as lectured and guest critic at many different venues in places such as: Rice University, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Texas Austin, University of Virginia, University of Syracuse, Pratt Institute, Würzburg University, Germany, ETSAB University, El Vallés Architecture School, GSD Harvard-Career Discovery, Segovia, Münster, Porto, Delft, Limerick, Newark NJ, Lubbock TX, College Station TX, El PasoTX or Houston TX
Rafael B. Duran´s practice spans the fields of architecture design, architecture technology and architecture theory. His PhD. dissertation, titled Atmosphere as Form in Architecture, explores the idea of atmosphere in the context of design practices from 1818 to present.
His work has been recognized and awarded at the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture 2016 (Finalist), S.ARCH 2018, COAM 2016 Award (Finalist), 2016 London Biennale Manila Pollination, 2016 London Transart Triennale, 2016 The Architecture and Design Film Festival New York, 3rd Istanbul Design Biennale 2016, Spanish National Award of Public Parks and Gardens 2015, XI Spanish Architecture and Urban Design Biennale 2011.
Rafael B. Duran´s works have been published in Books and Magazines such as: DOMUS, MARK, ARQ, ACTAR, Architectural Review, Architectural Record, CENTER 23, AV magazine, ARQUINE, FUTURE, Detail, Tashen or Pasajes de Arquitectura; as well as by Media such as: Dezeen, Arch20, Architizer, Bannana Design, Archelo, Design Boom, Metalocus, Divisare, Afasia, or Archilovers.
B. Duran has been teaching at the College of Architecture of Texas Tech University (CoA-TTU), Architectural Association (AA), Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM-UPM), and Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura (ESAyT-UCJC) as director of Theory, Aesthetics, Composition Program

Ophélia Mantz
Ophélia Mantz Architect DPLG, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville, ENSA -PB, France, 2002, Master in Bioclimatic Architecture and Sustainability, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, Spain, 2015. Her line of research focuses on the construction of ecological thinking in the field of architecture and the city. Together with Rafael Beneytez, she co-directs the Z4Z4 AAA Practice (Architects Activities Associated). She is a professor and director of the Material Research Center at the School of Architecture, Gerald D Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

She has participated as guest critic at School of Architecture Rice University, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Texas Austin, University of Virginia School of Architecture and University of Cambridge.
Her work has been recognized and awarded at the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture 2016 (Finalist), S.ARCH 2018, COAM 2016 Award (Finalist), 2016 London Biennale Manila Pollination, 2016 London Transart Triennale, 2016 The Architecture and Design Film Festival New York, 3rd Istanbul Design Biennale 2016 and Spanish National Award of Public Parks and Gardens 2015.

Rafael Beneytez, Ophelia Mantz, Enrique Krahe,  Arancha Montero

Xiuyin Hu, James Taylor, Shakil Shimul, Franco Denari, Caleb Matheson, Steve Roop, Daisy Limon, Javier Cardoso, Ilia Reyes, Victor Cano-Ciborro, Paul Galindo, Eva Gil Lopesinos, Diego Barajas, Esau Acosta, Mauro Gil-Fournier, Cristina Romero,  Alejandro Martin Mate, Borja Iglesias, Ana Belen Santos, Ignacio Rodriguez, Sara Orcasitas, Raquel Limeres, Marcos Rojas, Juan Manuel Nicas, Piet Jacobs, Emilio Jarrin, Marcel Noeding, Jeremie Koempgen, Noah Jaffe, Ethan Pound, Yara Baello, Puy Luengo, Marina Llés, Beatriz Sendin, Sara Carrasco, Pilar Penacho, Maria Payo, Jose Rayos, Andrea Ramos, Ismael Aboli, Marcos Zaragoza, Chema Silva, Barbara Baron, Monica Sedano, Francisco Blanco, Camille Vidal, Anne Voght, Tania Fonseca, Pablo Grande de Roda, Pedro Lopez Quintas, Lucila Lorenzale, Javier Armanda…

Víctor Manuel Cano Ciborro (Madrid, 1987) is Architect (2012) and Master in Advanced Architectural Projects (2013) by the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid (Polytechnic University of Madrid) and since 2014 researcher at UPM-Madrid where he is PhD Candidate linked to the “Research Group Cultural Landscape”. Since 2012 he is Assistant Teacher in “Architectural Projects” at ETSAM where co-manage the Radical Pedagogy: “This Way Brouwn: Towards a re-humanization of geography notion”. In 2015, he has been Unit 6 Tutor at Architectural Association Summer School in London creating a “Peepshow London” as a way to critique stable forms in architecture. His Final Project Degree (PFC) has been awarded in the V PFC Competition at “XII Biennial of Spanish Architecture and Urbanism” and Master’s Thesis won the “Special National XII Arquímedes Prize for young Spanish researchers 2013”. His line of enquiry has been published in media indexed nationally and internationally recognized as articles: ARQ 87 (Chile), Dichotomy (EEUU) or papers for congress: EURAU 2014 (Turkey), Landscape PhD Festival (Spain). In turn, he is co-founder and editor of the editorial project “Displacements and X´scape Journal”. He has worked for “Gazapo & Lapayese” and “Juan Miguel Hernández León” architectural office. Since 2013 he is Co-Director of Z4A Agency Narrative and architect at Z4Z4 where is currently developing the project management of “TB House”.